Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Paul II Stands Up Against Foreign Aid

Texas Congressman Ron Paul correctly characterizes US foreign aid as "taking money from poor people in this country and giving it to rich people in poor countries." Paul's son, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, fought long and hard to restrict and, in some cases, end foreign aid through to a late-night vote last Friday night. 

Senator Paul addressed the Senate floor for about an hour with an impassioned argument against US foreign aid policy.

A valiant effort, Paul's Bill was eventually defeated by a vote of 81-9 (with 10 abstentions). 

Paul actually predicted the defeat of his own Bill in his speech saying, "the vast majority of the Senate is going to vote for unlimited, unrestricted foreign aid. I will probably lose this vote." Although Rand Paul personally objects to foreign aid, his Bill would only restrict foreign aid under the stipulation that nations earn US aid based on their need and behavior; only Egypt, Libya and Pakistan were singled out for their aid to be ended. How could such a compromising Bill meet with such strong opposition? The truth is that foreign aid will be defended tooth-and-nail in Washington because the establishment benefits by bribing dictators to fall in line with US aspirations of world-wide power.

The basic argument from the bipartisan opposition to Paul - lead by Senators John Kerry and John McCain; both former Presidential candidates of the two major parties - is: you can't end foreign aid, we're trying to nation build here (and anyone who hasn't set foot in an airport in Cairo or Tripoli cannot disagree)!

The claim that foreign aid prompts good behavior from otherwise unfriendly nations is most obviously untrue, as seen in recently years by the Pakistani sanctioning of Osama Bin Laden and the past attacks on US Embassies in Egypt and Libya. The Egyptian and Libyan governments did not protect the US Embassy in their countries, despite the large amount of aid that the United States provides, and the Pakistani government arrested, tortured and continues to detain the Doctor who helped the US kill Bin Laden. The increased presence of Al-Qaeda in Libya and the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt definitely throws into question the idea that both countries will be thriving in liberty with US dollars anytime soon.

Foreign aid has not prompted these countries to act as an ally would - it is as plain as the nose on Senator Kerry's very long face. Are those 91 Senators really convinced that foreign aid should have no restrictions despite the fact that it fails to create allies, is stolen by dictators and is on the whole unconstitutional? Perhaps other untold reasons exist as to why they opposed the generally light restrictions on foreign aid seen in Rand Paul's Bill.

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